I'm Kathy Wilber, and have been riding for not quite 2 years [I started
at age 34]. I work at AT&T in N. Andover, Massachusetts as a technical
manager, and live in New Hampshire. No one in my family has ever been
"horsey", and I had no experience of horses growing up. Previously,
my major hobby was mountain back-packing (so at least my leg muscles were
well-prepared for riding!).
I see from some of the other bio's that I am not the only one to start
learning to ride later in life rather than as a child (hello, Joyce Scott
and Jan Snyder!).
I found this group shortly after I started to ride, so many of you have
read of my problems and progress, and given helpful replies.
I bought a horse last summer, an Arabian mare who will be 9 this season,
named Daleilah. [When my barn owner asked what her barn name would be -
she is used to translating Arab appellations like "Aradaf" to "Daffy" - I
confess I didn't give her one. Compared to the pseudo- and actual Arabic
names often given Arabians, the name "Daleilah" sounded quite homey
enough for me to use around the barn!] She had been trained, but had
been unridden for the two years before I bought her, having time
off as a broodmare. Thanks to Sue Bishop's kind sharing of her knowledge of
Arabian ***lines, I now know that Daleilah is mostly New Egyptian, with some
Polish and Domestic thrown in for good measure. Daleilah manifests her
New Egyptian background (hot and spazzy, the generalization goes) by
a very strong flight instinct. I like her a lot - she's people-friendly,
well mannered, curious, and smart (for a horse!) - but she has certainly
provided me with an education on the variety and severity of possible
equine flight responses!
I ride hunt seat, and am working on training and 1st level dressage.
We're also starting over jumps, but since this resulted in a bolting episode,
we're going slow with that.
We're planning our first show season this summer. I am not sure
how she'll respond at a real show - Arab shows have a custom of the audience
hooting and hollering to e*** the horses. It will be interesting to see
if Daleilah finds this interesting (in which case she will be sensibly obliging)
or frightening (in which case she could do anything from refusing to stay
on the rail near the audience, to shying, to bolting). I may be pleased if
I can simply say, echoing Mary Healey's tag line, "To heck with winning, I